The so-called "Doomsday Clock" referenced by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his remarks at the General Assembly on Monday is a product of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
It is a metaphor that represents how close humanity is to self-destruction, due to nuclear weapons and climate change
That symbolic clock was founded in 1945 by atomic scientists of the University of Chicago and maven scientist Albert Einstein.
The Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been, Guterres said citing the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board's latest report.
Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said: "This year’s Doomsday Clock statement makes clear that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine undermined global norms and institutions, increased nuclear risk, and reduced the ability to mitigate runaway climate change."
"As the UN chief noted, the Doomsday Clock is a global alarm clock, and we strongly support his clarion call for leaders around the world to ‘get to work.’ With the Doomsday Clock now set at 90 seconds to midnight, there is no time to waste," he warned.
The Doomsday Clock is widely cited as many things all at once: it’s a logo, it’s a brand, and it’s one of the most recognizable symbols in the past 100 years, said the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board.
It has impacted economy, politics, and global policy—and helped shape discussions and strategies around nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies.
The Doomsday Clock has appeared not only in the media landscape but also in the culture and literature sector. It featured in novels by Stephen King and Piers Anthony, songs by The Who and the Clash, and comics like Watchmen and Stormwatch.